PEOPLE AT the Muvix complex in Tel Aviv have the choice of 14 screens in a more intimate experience.
(photo credit: SHAHAF HABER)
Do you want the theater experience, but without the teenagers shouting at the screen and throwing popcorn? Would you like to pick the movie to watch and what time it starts?
A newly launched Israeli startup is looking to bring you the movie watching experience of the future – in Tel Aviv and beyond. Muvix, which became available to the public this week, offers individualized screenings both at its movie-on-demand site in south Tel Aviv’s Neveh Tzedek neighborhood and wherever in the country you’d like to see a film or other content.
“What we’re about is reinventing public screening essentially,” said Nithai Barzam, CEO of Muvix. “What Netflix has done for consuming content at home, we want to do the same for public places.”
In addition to supplying content on demand, the hi-tech company utilizes its unique app and technology to separate the audio and video of any film. The audio gets streamed to your smartphone through headphones, while you watch the visual on-screen. Not only can you screen multiple films within earshot of each other, but a group of people can watch the same movie in different languages at the same time. It also means the audio at large outdoor events, like on a beach or in a park, will be high quality no matter where you’re seated.
Muvix developed a “unique technology which is patented in the US and Israel,” said Barzam, “that allows us to screen multiple content channels in the same space at the same time without interfering with one another.”
This means the company could set up three large screens in Yarkon Park, and play three different shows simultaneously.
For more intimate viewing, the Muvix theater in Tel Aviv has 14 screens, with areas ranging from two people to 14 people, and a wide variety of seating arrangements, including large beds or couches or bar-style seating. Until this week, the site was open just to family and friends, but now the public can test out the on-demand theater, which also includes a bar and kitchen serving fresh food.
“If you go out with family and friends, you basically only have movie theaters, and they only present movies and they’re on screen for maybe four weeks and then they’re gone,” said Barzam. “There’s no other way to consume other content, older movies, TV – that’s the space we want to fill.”
As you watch the screen and listen through Muvix’s app, you can also order food straight from your phone that will arrive as you enjoy the movie.
While Muvix’s only brick-and-mortar site is in Tel Aviv, it operates throughout the country – and has aspirations to reach audiences around the world.
Barzam said they plan to launch in New York next year, and spread across the US.
“Essentially the opportunity to screen in public spaces in unlimited,” he said. “We can do this in restaurants and bars and hotels – in the lobby or outside around the pool or in a park next door.”
Barzam said the idea of private screenings came about almost by accident, but thinks it can change the way people watch movies.
“We developed this to overcome the issue of having multiple channels in the same location without disturbing one another,” he said, “but we realized what we have is something really amazing.”